2020 - The 2020 Review
w/e 27 December 2020
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

At the turn of the year I usually look back over the previous twelve months and summarise places we've been to and events we have seen. I approached the task this year with more than a little trepidation knowing that regular events in the calendar had forcibly been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Good Friday Walk of Witness, the Carnival, the Charter Fair, the Lakeside Festival, the Remembrance Day Service, the switching on of the Christmas lights and many more all fell victim to the restrictions to say nothing of the regular events at the Erewash Museum that couldn't take place this year. I also knew that on more than one occasion during the year I had been forced to delve into the archives to select previously taken images to guarantee the regular weekly update. So it was a surprise when I started to review the images from this year that hadn't previously been used on the website that there were still well over a thousand which I've sifted through to use on this page.

New Year's day empty streets

We started 2020 with a walk through the town centre on New Year's Day. Little did we know then that the deserted streets, closed shops and empty roads were a sign of things to come when lockdown was introduced.

Wollaton Village

It was also in January that we took our regular annual winter trip to Wollaton for a walk through the Deer Park but this time we caught a bus and approached the Park by walking through the village before exiting further on to catch another bus home.
Osborne's /Bennerley

With the absence of events during the year local parks and beauty spots were to become often visited places and in February as well as Shipley Country Park and Osborne's Pond (above left) we also went to Bramcote Hills Park as the snowdrops were coming out and followed a Walking for Health route through Ilkeston that took in Victoria Park. February in the UK was the wettest on record and near the end of the month I took a look at some of the flood waters in the Erewash Valley at Trowell and near the Bennerley Viaduct (above right).

The first national lockdown was introduced in March but before it took hold we were back in Victoria Park among the spring flowers that were starting to come through. We also walked to Trowell and back along the disused Nottingham Canal following this up with another walk through Cossall Village. Events in the early part of the year are few and far between anyway so there was nothing unusual so far in our photo shoots. With the summer still to come we were hoping that the virus would soon have passed and planned events would still take place. How wrong we were!


By April we were advised to stay at home, only go out for essential shopping or daily exercise. This meant we spent a lot of time at home, in the garden and going to the shops was usually in the car with the return straight back home. It also meant several dips into the archives for photos to share from earlier outings where we found pictures from places like Chatsworth. One outing into the town centre did give me the opportunity to capture a bird and her young in a precarious perch on the Cantelupe Centre showing that despite the restrictions, life in the natural world goes on.
VE Day

The 75th Anniversary celebrations for VE Day that were planned for May were another of the events that had to be scaled back but that didn't deter people decorating their homes and streets whilst all the while maintaining their social distancing. By May, queuing (inset left) had become a way of life but social distancing when passing on the canal towpaths proved a problem as more and more people took to using these routes for their daily exercise.

As lockdown restrictions were eased in June we took our first "longer" walk to Victoria Park when it hit us just how much the relative inactivity since March had impacted our fitness. It's taking a long while to regain that fitness but it was in June that we ventured further that we had in the previous three or four months to enjoy a stroll around Elvaston Country Park and admire the topiary among other gardens in the grounds. Another outing took us to a little corner of Belper but the rest of the time was spent in Ilkeston where the summer flowers were starting to bloom.
Garden Flowers

All our work in the garden in the early stages of lockdown came to fruition during the summer months and we had some lovely displays in the beds, tubs, pots and hanging baskets. These are some of them from July.

Beauty Spots

Government advice in August suggested open air locations and parks were safer places to be so our photo taking outings were to places like St Chad's Water at Church Wilne, Darley Park at Derby, Belper's Riverside Gardens and of course Victoria Park in Ilkeston.

Power Station

Now in September the Autumn Footprints Walking Festival usually enables me to take hundreds of photos across Erewash and Amber Valley. That of course like everything else fell by the wayside so with no let up in the pandemic, that meant another delve into the archives for what became a virtual Festival. At the end of the month however, we did manage a visit to Sawley's Conservation Area close to the River Derwent where, in addition to a look at some of the old buildings, we were also treated to views along the river towards the distant Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station.
The Rec

Think of October and you think of the Charter Fair but once again that involved archive photos for another virtual event. The rest of the month was spent looking at autumn colours first at Kimberley Hall Om Wong park and then in Ilkeston. This shot shows the Rutland Sports Park (The Rec) from Oakwell Drive,
Armistice Day

There was little let up from the virus during November and Remembrance Day services were scaled right back. On Armistice Day a few people did gather on the Market Place for a short commemoration and the numbers were swelled by toddlers from the nearby Cantelupe Centre. Photos for the website came from a couple of walks along the Erewash and Nottingham Canals (the Top Cut Loop) and a wander around the lake at Kirk Hallam. Regular annual events as Advent and Christmas approached were non-existent.
Ilkeston Brass

And so we reached December. Plans made for Christmas had to be fluid as government guidelines, rules, laws and restrictions changed and the pandemic was still with us. Shopkeepers and individuals decorated their premises and homes and Christmas lights twinkled although these things happened without much ceremony. Christmas was still celebrated - but differently. It was good to see one tradition that did continue as Ilkeston Brass were seen outside the Albion Centre on Christmas Eve playing carols - socially distanced of course.

As we look forward to 2021 I would normally say that Ilkeston Cam would be covering the same things again, the Festivals, the Fair, the Carnival, the walks through towns and villages and in the surrounding parks, gardens and countryside. This year, that's what I hope and pray for and with a vaccine on the horizon, that may be a possibility but at this moment in time, it's still just a hope. Whatever 2021 holds for us is still an unknown - as it is every year - but my fervent hope is that 2021 will be for all of us a

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